Former Giant Matheny to manage Cardinals

Those Hall of Fame shoes left by Tony La Russa in St. Louis will be filled by former Giants catcher Mike Matheny.

The Cardinals are taking a huge gamble with the hire, as Matheny has never managed a team at any professional level. A team coming off a World Series victory can’t afford to take such a risk.

All reports state that Matheny is well-respected within the St. Louis organization, but one has to wonder if he will be able to command the respect of Cardinals players during game situations.

Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his lack of experience was “the elephant that walked in with me” when interviewing with the Cardinals.

The fact that he has never been the manager of a professional team can not be overlooked. He’s never even been a coach. He spent the past season as a minor league instructor in the St. Louis organization. Years from now, Matheny may be a great manager. Former catchers tend to make great managers, but a veteran team needs a proven manager.

Matheny signed with the Giants prior to 2005 after five seasons with St. Louis. He played in 134 games and committed only one error en route to a third consecutive Gold Glove and fourth overall. Matheny was as tough as they come, but his career was cut short by a concussion he suffered in 2006.